CU Boulder Peak to Peak Lecture in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Does Christianity Matter for Judaism - and Vice Versa?
August 18 and 19, 2017
Spiritual Life Center at the Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church | 736 Oak Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
The University of Colorado Boulder’s Peak to Peak Lecture Series presented two opportunities to learn with CU Boulder professor, Elias Sacks, August 18 and 19, 2017 in Steamboat Spring, Colorado. Both events took place at the Spiritual Life Center at the Heart of Steamboat-United Methodist Church.
Does God Make Mistakes? Should God Repent?
Friday, August 18, 2017, at 5 p.m.
The High Holidays are a time when Jews gather together to reflect on their lives, engage in teshuvah (repentance), and vow to do better. But are people the only ones called to repent? Does God also make mistakes? If so, does God have to repent? As we enter the High Holiday season, we will explore ancient and modern views on these questions, asking whether God, too, has regrets and should be engaging in repentance alongside us. This event is cosponsored by Har Mishpacha.
Does Christianity Matter for Judaism – and Vice Versa?
Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 3 p.m.
What can Christians learn from Judaism, and what can Jews learn from Christianity? What do we have to gain from inter-religious dialogue, and what challenges can such conversations pose? We will explore diverse answers to these questions, wrestling with sources from the New Testament to works of post-Holocaust theology. This event is cosponsored by Har Mishpacha and the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs.
Elias Sacks is an assistant professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He works on the Jewish tradition, religious thought, and theories and methods in the study of religion. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned a master's degree in Religion from Columbia University and a doctorate in Religion from Princeton University. His research focuses on the modern period, with particular areas of interest including Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy of religion, religion and politics, hermeneutics, and religious ethics.
These events were supported by Har Mishpacha and the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, in partnership with the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies and the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement. They are part of the CU Boulder Peak to Peak Lecture Series, a program that brings CU Boulder humanities scholars to communities around Colorado to share innovative perspectives of historical figures, events and enduring questions.
CU Boulder Peak to Peak Lecture in Alamosa, Colorado
This lecture was hosted by Adams State University in partnership with the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies and the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement. It was part of the CU Boulder Peak to Peak Lecture Series, a program that brings CU Boulder humanities scholars to communities around Colorado to share innovative perspectives on historical figures, events, and enduring questions. It was also part of the Adams State Faculty Lecture Series.
The Yellow Ticket Film Screening
Friday, September 15 | 8:00 - 10:30 PM
Dairy Arts Center | 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80302
The University of Colorado Boulder and the Dairy Arts Center were pleased to present a screening of a rare 1918 silent film, The Yellow Ticket, accompanied by an original film score composed and performed live by klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals with jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner. The screening, which was part of the CU at the Dairy series, took place on Friday, September 15, at 8:00 PM at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado. It was followed by a panel discussion with the performers and CU Boulder faculty members.
The Yellow Ticket tells the story of a young Jewish woman from a Polish shtetl who is forced by anti-Semitic laws and customs to to lead a double life in a brothel while attempting to study medicine in Tsarist, Russia. The film, which was made at the end of World War I on the eve of the Russian revolution, also includes precious footage of the former Jewish quarter of Warsaw and the people who once lived there. Notably, it stars an adolescent Pola Negri, who would later become the legendary femme fatale of the silent era.
The film was accompanied by an original film score composed and performed by Alicia Svigals, the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler, with Marilyn Lerner, Toronto’s virtuoso new-music pianist. Svigals is a violinist and composer who co-founded the Grammy-winning band The Klezmatics and was a 2014 NEA MacDowell Fellow in composition. Lerner, a jazz pianist, has garnered recognition including Best Western Jazz Recording 2004 and the Montreal International Jazz Festival award for Best Composition. Together they perform this multimedia event across college campuses and festivals.
A panel discussion followed the film, featuring Svigals and Learner alongside CU Boulder faculty members Yonatan Malin, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Jewish Studies, Harumi Rhodes, Assistant Professor of Violin, and David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Jewish Studies.
The Yellow Ticket film screening was part of the CU @ The Dairy series, a new collaboration between the Dairy Arts Center and the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Music. This screening was supported by the the Dairy Arts Center, the University of Colorado Program in Jewish Studies, the University of Colorado Violin Studio in the College of Music, and the Roser Visiting Artist Endowment.
Event Photo Credit: Chris Randle
Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections Symposium
Monday, September 18, 2017 | 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Open to CU Faculty, Staff, and Students
The Program in Jewish Studies and the University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives celebrated the achievements of three graduate student fellows, Adi Nester, Amber Manning, and Jason Hogstad, who presented their research projects on materials in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections. During the summer, these students worked with archivists in the PHAJ collections learning archival processing techniques. They also researched, designed, and curated their own projects and exhibits using the materials from the collections. In addition to publishing online, they presented their projects and findings at this symposium. This event took place on Monday, September 18 from 12:00 - 1:30 PM.
Amber Manning and Adi Nester were supported by CHA– Jewish Studies Post-Holocaust American Judaism Summer Fellowships, and Jason Hogstad was supported by a History – Jewish Studies Archives Summer Fellowship. Graduate students: Interested in applying? Applications for Summer 2018 archive fellowships will open Spring 2018!
Learn more about the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections
The Program in Jewish Studies and University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives are building a collection of archival holdings focused on Judaism and the Jewish-American experience from roughly the late 1940s to the present.
The Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections exist to document the work of the individuals and groups, who transformed and in many cases are still transforming the American Jewish experience in the post-World War II period, and to make that experience accessible to students, researchers, and interested parties of all kinds.
SHE: Embodied Judaism Symposium & Exhibit
Who is She? The Shekhinah, which derives from the Hebrew word for "dwell or settle," is a feminine divine presence, guiding and protecting men and women everywhere. She is power, wisdom, and compassion and has influenced Jews from the ancient world through Second and Third Wave feminism and into the transgender and environmental concerns of the present day. Who is She, how has She empowered us, and how does She appear to us today?
SHE, the third biannual Embodied Judaism Symposium, explored the concept of Shekhinah, drawing on materials in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Collections held at the University of Colorado Boulder. The symposium featured insight and embodied presentations by Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone, Professor Joy Ladin, and Professor Samuel Boyd as well as an original performance from dancer and choreographer Robert Sher-Machherndl. The symposium was accompanied by an exhibit exploring the concept of Shekhinah, which was be on display in CU Boulder's Norlin Library.
The 2017 symposium and exhibit were hosted by the Program in Jewish Studies and the University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives and made possible by support from Rose Community Foundation, a Research and Innovative Seed Grant, and CU's Departments of Philosophy, History, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Theatre and Dance, Religious Studies, English, and Women and Gender Studies.
SHE: Embodied Judaism Symposium is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible in part by a grant from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and internationally renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
2018 Annual Holocaust Lecture
2018 Annual Holocaust Lecture with Professor Michael Rothberg
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Old Main Theater | CU Boulder campus
How should we think about the transmission of Holocaust memory more than seventy years after the defeat of Nazi Germany? What lessons do the events of the Shoah bear for a moment in which far-right political movements are once again on the rise? In order to address such questions, Professor Michael Rothberg considered immigrants’ engagement with the Holocaust in contemporary Germany. The works of art, literature, and performance that he discussed modeled alternative ways of remembering the Nazi genocide in the twenty-first century and suggested possibilities for an ethically and politically engaged memory work.
Professor Rothberg's lecture was presented in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.
Graduate Student & Faculty Colloquium with Professor Michael Rothberg
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Please RSVP for location and pre-circulated reading.
Lunch will be served. RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu.
Open to CU Faculty, Staff, and Students.
In this colloquium, Professor Michael Rothberg explored issues raised by his forthcoming book The Implicated Subject, which addresses questions of historical and political responsibility beyond the categories of victims and perpetrators. The book considers a variety of cases taken from diverse historical and geographical settings: from the legacies of the Holocaust, transatlantic slavery, and South African apartheid to diasporic engagement with Israel/Palestine and internationalist solidarity with Kurdistan and Vietnam.
Based on a draft excerpt from the book's introduction, we discussed the concepts of "implication" and the "implicated subject," which are attempts to theorize how we are connected to historical and contemporary forms of violence that may appear distant from us. This excerpt takes up responses to the murder of Trayvon Martin as well as theories of responsibility in the work of Primo Levi, Karl Jaspers, and Hannah Arendt.
This event was cosponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures, and the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder.
2018 Visiting Author
How a Jewish Kid from Los Angeles Traveled to Wartime Iraq in Search of Roots, Reconciliation and His Father's Improbable Life Story
An Evening with Award-Winning Author and Journalist, Ariel Sabar
Old Main Theater | CU Boulder campus
Growing up in materialistic 1980s Los Angeles, Ariel Sabar's life seemed a far cry from his father's. Yona Sabar, Ariel's father, was a distinguished professor at UCLA and one of the world’s foremost experts on Aramaic, the 3,000-year-old language of the Jewish Talmud — and of Jesus. But Ariel saw his father as a stone-age relic, a walking fashion tragedy who couldn’t get his clothes to match and refused to see a barber about his out-of-control, Einstein-like hair. Yona had been born in an ancient village of Aramaic-speaking Jews in the mountains of Kurdish Iraq—the oldest corner of the Jewish diaspora — but for Ariel, his father might as well have been born on the moon. Then Ariel had his own son, and everything changed.
In his talk, Ariel weaved together the remarkable story of the Kurdish Jews and their Aramaic tongue with the moving tale of how a consummate California kid came to write a book about his family’s Kurdish roots. The book, My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, one of the highest honors in American letters.
Open to Students, Faculty, and Community Subscribers
Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Students, faculty, and community were given a chance to meet award-winning author and journalist Ariel Sabar and ask questions about his books and journalism.
This event was hosted by the Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Department of English, Department of Religious Studies, and Mediterranean Studies Group.
Ariel Sabar's visit was part of the Community Talks Series, made possible in part by a grant from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and internationally renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
Free Concert Open to All
Fourth Annual Student Hebrew Concert
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Old Main Theater, CU Boulder campus
Free and open to the public.
Singing! Dancing! Fun!
The students of CU Boulder's Hebrew classes and the Program in Jewish Studies presented the fourth annual Hebrew Schmooze-A-Palooza! The night was filled with a variety of musical and dance performances to celebrate Hebrew classes and community. Audience members sang along to renditions of well-known songs like "Hallelujah" and heard new music performed by Hebrew students!
2018 Sephardic Studies Visiting Scholar
Lecture with Professor Aviva Ben-Ur, Sephardic Studies Visiting Scholar
Suriname, a Dutch colony established on the South American mainland in the 1660s, was among the largest slave societies of the hemisphere. Its Jewish community, founded during the same decade, was granted exceptional liberties, including religious tolerance, unrestricted economic opportunities, and, most remarkably, the privilege to self-govern according to its own religious and secular laws. This political autonomy also empowered Jews to convert their slaves to Judaism, resulting in the rise of a sizeable class of people collectively known in the sources as “mulatto Jews” or “Jewish mulattoes.” In her talk, Professor Aviva Ben-Ur addressed the emergence of Eurafrican Jews, their legal status, cultural characteristics, social activism, and their experience of Jewish autonomy in a colony where upwards of 96 percent of the population was unfree.
Open to Students, Faculty, and Community Subscribers
Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 11:30AM - 1:00PM
By the onset of World War I, thousands of Ottoman immigrants were living and trading in Britain. During wartime and through much of the interwar period, these multi-ethnic, multi-religious Ottomans were automatically branded as enemy aliens, even after the dissolution of the Empire, subject at times to internment and deportation to concentration camps, stripped of their freedom of movement, and uniformly barred from British citizenship. Drawing on hundreds of recently declassified naturalization applications pertaining to Armenian, Jewish, Syrian, and Greek Ottoman subjects, this colloquium paper discussed the prosopography of Middle Eastern newcomers, nativism and xenophobia, xenophilism, and the role of the state in shaping national and ethnic identities.
This event is hosted by the Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsored by the Department of History and the School of Law at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Aviva Ben-Ur's visit is part of the Community Talks Series, made possible in part by a grant from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and internationally renown scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.
2018 Holocaust Remembrance Week
Panel Discussion with Patricia Heberer-Rice, PhD
Monday, April 9 | 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
In honor of Annual Holocaust Remembrance Week, CU Anschutz's Center for Bioethics and Humanities, CU Boulder's Program in Jewish Studies, and cosponsors presented a panel discussion featuring United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Senior Historian Patricia Heberer-Rice, PhD. Dr. Heberer-Rice discussed the experience of child victims of the Holocaust, followed by panel discussion about genocide and the experiences of working refugee children in Colorado.
This program is the second annual CU-Anschutz-CU Boulder Holocaust Remembrance Week Lecture. It is hosted by CU Anschutz's Center for Bioethics and Humanities and CU Boulder's Program in Jewish Studies, and is made possible by the M.B. Glassman Foundation, the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Dr. William S. Silvers Endowment.
Find a schedule of events below.
The 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Week is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, CU's Hillel, the Department of History, the Honors Program, the Department of Religious Studies, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, the Singer Fund in Jewish Studies, and Chabad.
2018 Holocaust Awareness Week Events
How Healers Became Killers: Law & Medicine in the Nazi Era
Monday, April 9 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Wolf Law Building 205, CU Boulder campus
Presentation and Q&A with Dr. Patricia Heberer-Rice, Dr. Matthew Wynia, and Professor Daniel Goldberg
Monday, April 9 | 7:00 PM
Eaton Humanities, Room 135
Hosted by the Program in Jewish Studies and Center for Bioethics and Humanities.
Wednesday April 18 | 6:30 PM
Hale 270 | CU Boulder campus
Featuring Professor Wendy Lower, Professor David Shneer, Professor Janet Jacobs, and Dr. Robert Ehrenreich.
Keynote Lecture with Wendy Lower: Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
Thursday, April 19 | 5:00 PM
Hale 270, CU Boulder campus
After Professor Lower's talk, please join the Program in Jewish Studies for a public lecture with photographer Laurence Salzmann, 7:00PM in Old Main Theater.
2018 Week of Jewish Philosophy
Colloquium with Professor Martin Kavka
2018 Week of Jewish Philosophy – Religion and Messianism
Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 11:30AM - 1:00PM
University of Colorado Boulder Campus
Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu for pre-circulated reading and location information.
One needs only to go to a news website—any news website—to tap into hope for something better. In the language of the Jewish and Christian traditions, this hope has often been expressed as a hope for redemption, as a specifically messianic hope. The mid-twentieth century saw a debate about whether such hope was worthwhile, with the influential historian of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) arguing for a cautious embrace of messianism as a historical force, and his erstwhile friend Jacob Taubes (1923–1987), one of the post-Holocaust era’s most controversial and notorious rabbis, arguing against this attitude. This seminar assessed Taubes's response to Scholem, and its implicit charge that Judaism should be more like Christianity.
These events are hosted by CU Boulder's Program in Jewish Studies and DU's Center for Judaic Studies and are generously supported by CU's Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures and Department of Religious Studies.
In addition to the colloquium held at CU Boulder, Professor Kavka presented two events at the University of Denver. Please click on each title below for more details.
Wednesday, April 25 | 4:30PM - 6:30PM
University of Denver
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org; limited seats (priority to graduate students).
Confirmed participants will receive readings and room details by email.
We customarily think of the Messiah as someone who brings perfection to the world, whether it be the political sovereignty of the Davidic king, or the redeeming presence of the Messiah to come in the future. One of the twentieth century’s most intriguing thinkers, Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), argued that this usual notion of the Messiah made little sense and that instead, we should think of the messianic as associated with the passing away from the world, and therefore with a kind of nihilism. This seminar took up this argument through a close reading of Benjamin's short "Theological-Political Fragment" (1921).
Thursday, April 26 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
University of Denver | DU's Anderson Academic Commons #340 (The Loft)
2150 E. Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80208
"Christians believe that the Messiah has already come, while Jews do not." This is supposedly the difference between Judaism and Christianity. In this lecture, Professor Martin Kavka will argue against this kind of treatment of the Jewish and Christian traditions, as if they were ready-made things handed down from minister to congregation, or from parent to child. This does not mean that they are the same, or that Jewish-Christian dialogue is easy. Rather, he will suggest that the Jewish and Christian traditions are manifold enough for Jews and Christians to appropriate their pasts in various ways, downplaying those differences or magnifying them as needed. Professor Kavka was joined by an interdisciplinary panel of CU and DU faculty to reflect on the past, present, and future of conversations between the Jewish and Christian traditions.
2018 Sondra & Howard Bender Visiting Scholar
Public Talks with Renown Photographer, Laurence Salzmann
2018 Sondra & Howard Bender Visiting Scholar
In Search of Turkey's Jews
Turkey's Jews Revisited (1984-2012)
The University of Colorado Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies, the Boulder Jewish Community Center (JCC), and cosponsors welcomed reknown photographer, Laurence Salzmann, as the Program in Jewish Studies’ 2018 Annual Sondra and Howard Bender Visiting Scholar.
When photographer Laurence Salzmann and anthropologist Ayse Gürsan-Salzmann received an invitation from the Beth Hatfutsot Museum in Tel Aviv and the Quincentennial Foundation of Istanbul to document Jewish monuments in Turkey, a three-month stay became a five-year visit. From 1984-1989, the Salzmanns photographed and chronicled the lives of Turkey’s Sephardic Jewish community, in their first year alone visiting over 25 sites where Jews have lived for over 500 years. Twenty-five years later, on a return trip to Turkey from 2012-2013, the Salzmanns revisited the Jewish communities of Antakaya, Istanbul and Izmir, taking additional photos and videos of Turkish Jewish life.
In his public lecture, In Search of Turkey's Jews, Salzmann explored the Sephardic communities of Turkey, using his extensive collection of photographs and notes about the people the Salzmanns met, places they visited, and lessons they learned along the way. The lecture took place Thursday, April 19, 7:00PM - 8:30PM in the University Club building, Chancellor's Silver and Gold room on the CU Boulder's campus.
A selection of Salzmann’s photographs from his exhibit, Turkey’s Jews Revisited (1984-2012), were on display at the Boulder Jewish Community Center from April 9 – May 18, 2018. Salzmann also lead a lunchtime walk-through of this exhibition, Thursday, April 19, 11:30AM - 1:00PM at the Boulder JCC. Lunch will be served; space is limited. The prints in Turkey's Jews Revisited are pigment prints made by the photographer on archival papers.
The annual Sondra and Howard Bender Visiting Scholar series is generously supported by the Sondra and Howard Bender Visiting Scholars Endowed Fund, honoring the lives of Sondra and Howard Bender.
These events were hosted by CU Boulder's Program in Jewish Studies and Boulder Jewish Community Center and are generously supported by a grant from CU Boulder's Graduate Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Laurence Salzmann's visit was part of the Community Talks Series, made possible in part by a grant from Rose Community Foundation. A subscription series, Community Talks features nationally and internationally renown scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Learn more and subscribe today.